By Tim Ravndal
Broadwater County Commissioner Laura Obert who is currently facing charges of Felony Theft and Official Misconduct was not happy with fellow Commissioners and left the meeting under protest. Having a previous conviction of usurping power, that is reserved under a three commission form of government, is currently under judicial review.
Commissioner Obert has been convicted of violating open meeting laws and violating the public trust. The judicial branch of government has provided Commissioner Obert the opportunity to serve under contract. She does not physically attend the meetings since booked on the charges but has recently participated via phone. Today Commissioner Obert refused to engage in further discussion regarding a legal challenge that is ongoing against the Black Butte Copper Project in Meagher County. Last week the commissioners heard from Meagher County Attorney that has intervened in the lawsuit against the Black Butte Copper Project on behalf of the citizens.
Through public notice and on the agenda the commissioners of Broadwater County were asked to join with Meagher County and intervene in the case on behalf of the citizens of Broadwater County. The Black Butte Copper Project, that has been approved by DEQ to move forward, is potentially going to have a positive economic impact to both counties.
Broadwater County Attorney Cory Swanson is working with Meagher County Attorney Burt Hurwitz on behalf of the citizens to promote the Black Butte Copper Project as Defendant-Intervenors. In a resolution adopted by Commissioner Folkvord and Commissioner Delger against the position of Commissioner Obert, the citizens of both counties have a seat at the table.
With pending legal charges against Commissioner Obert for violating the public trust, citizens of Broadwater County are wondering if justice will be served. Her term ends in January of 2021 but the trial for pending charges against Commissioner Obert has been pushed back to August of 2021. Commissioner Obert and her legal team are also working to avoid public record laws that provide for transparency in Broadwater County.
Many citizens across Montana are asking for justice at the local government level. The Justice Department under Tim Fox has seen multiple cases and calls for due process. Actions by elected and appointed officials at the local government level continue. In many communities across Montana citizens get stuck with the bill that enhances tyranny.
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